Bad news for Firefox users on Linux: Adobe says that in the future that the Flash plugin for Linux will only be available on the Google (News - Alert) Chrome browser.
The San Jose, Calif.-based software giant has been working closely with Google to integrate Flash with Chrome using the open-source cross-platform Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI). Pepper abstracts plugins like Flash from the system the browser is actually running. In theory, this should make plugins more secure by preventing direct access to the system, as well as more portable.
“Adobe (News - Alert) has been working closely with Google to develop a single modern API for hosting plugins within the browser (one which could replace the current Netscape plugin API being used by the Flash Player),” a developer blog on Adobe’s Web site said. “The PPAPI, code-named ‘Pepper’ aims to provide a layer between the plugin and browser that abstracts away differences between browser and operating system implementations.”
“Because of this work,” the blog continued, “Adobe has been able to partner with Google in providing a ‘Pepper’ implementation of Flash Player for all x86/64 platforms supported by the Google Chrome browser. Google will begin distributing this new Pepper-based Flash Player as part of Chrome on all platforms, including Linux, later this year.”
Adobe, however, will support version 11.2 of the plugin, the last that will support Firefox browsers on Linux, with security updates for five years. Adobe has also discontinued support of Air for Linux as well.
The move, along with Apple’s (News - Alert) refusal to use Flash on its popular iOS devices, could provide the impetus for sites like YouTube, which Google owns, to move to HTML5 for video, which is an open standard, as opposed to Flash’s proprietary status.
The upcoming tablet version of Windows 8 also does not run Flash, even though the version for standard desktops does support Flash and ActiveX plugins.
Edited by Rich Steeves